When it comes to ab work, sit ups and crunches are our go to move. However, they might actually not be the most effective and in certain instances they may harm you. Learn why you might want to ditch these exercises and get some new moves to replace this tired routine.
Why Sit Ups Can Hurt You (And They aren’t So Much Effective)
- They can harm your spine and back : To do sit ups and crunches you have to continuously flex the spine and this motion compresses your spinal discs which in turn compresses the nerves. This can cause lower back pain and even herniated disks.
- They hurt the neck: When you do these exercises, you are supposed to isolate your abs and lift from your core. You are constantly told not to lead with your neck, because it hurts. The truth is, however, that when you do a sit up or a crunch, your neck always hurts, no matter how much you contract your core. The exercise is just painful!
The truth is that you will never be able to crunch your way into six pack abs. The exercises alone are not enough to work out all of the muscles that you need to work out to have a strong core. Additionally, they take a lot of time and effort for an exercise that only works on group of muscles.
If sit ups and crunches don’t hurt you and you don’t suffer from diastasis recti (when your abs separate during pregnancy) you can go ahead and do them, but the exercises below can just as easily and effectively replace them.
Exercises to Replace The Sit Ups And Tone Your Abs
- PlanksPlanks are a whole body workout that works your upper body, core and even legs. There are many variations of the plank that can take your workout to the ultimate level. Start off easy and work your way up to more difficult versions and hold the position for a longer amount of time.
- Squats Aren’t Just for Your ButtSquats are the go to exercise for your butt, leg and thighs, but they are so much more than that! Squats actually work your entire body and help build muscle in your core and even your upper body. There are many variations of squats. Get started with body weight squats and work up to using heavy weights and low reps to get some serious muscle. And ladies, Squats will help you get the curves you crave!
- Raise Your Expectations with Leg Raises
Leg raises are great for working out the lower abs. The area of the abs that is one of the hardest to get to. They are great because there are so many variations that you won’t get bored and your muscles won’t either. You can do leg raises while lying on the floor or while standing. There are versions that work your oblique muscles as well.
When it comes to your abs, don’t stick to the old. Sit ups and crunches are old hat. There are so many better ways to work out your abs and entire body that are much more effective. Skip workouts that only focus on one body part at a time and instead opt for workouts that will work many major body parts at once. They save time and energy. Plus, as you build major muscle, you will build extra fat.